Toast to a safe and happy New Year - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Toast to a safe and happy New Year

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WAUSAU (WAOW) --  2012 is almost here. And while that is a reason to celebrate. It is also a reason to stay safe.

That's why the Marathon County Tavern League funds the Safe Ride program.

"A customer just comes to us and tells us they need a ride, we fill out a voucher and we call them a cab," Ashley Voigt, bartender of Brokaw Corners says.

Roughly 100 bars and restaurants in Marathon County are Tavern League members.  Each one pays six dollars for every safe ride home, so there is no cost to the customer.

"You don't want to get into your car and drive away knowing you have had too much and get into an accident. You could hurt either yourself or someone else," Voigt says.

And Marathon County officials encourage people to take advantage of the program.

"It is the people that have drank too much or didn't plan for a safe ride and are driving drunk that we look for," Lt. Dale Wisnewski of the Marathon County Sheriff's Department said.

Authorities say they see more accidents and hand out more tickets for people driving under the influence during the holiday season.

"Plan ahead, make sure you have a designated driver or a safe ride. We know people are going to go out and celebrate and we want them too, just safely," Lt. Wisnewski said.

And cab drivers across the area agree.

"It is such an easy way to get home. Just spend a couple bucks, it is a lot cheaper to ride in my cab than in the back of a police car...or worse," Metro Cab driver Shane Fendos said.

So as you toast in the New Year, plan for a safe ride. And ring in 2012 in the best way possible.

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